Sunday 30 August 2020

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

 Most of Saturday was spent sorting out more stuff to sell, projects that will never see the light of day, figures that are painted but incomplete armies, buildings - lots of buildings that are no longer required or again will never get painted/ assembled.

Next thing is to sell it!

Sunday morning was spent finishing the sort out. So in the afternoon I decided to have a solo game,

Norm from Battlefields and Warriors Blog  has played a few games from the Men of Iron board game by GMT the latest release is effectively 3 games covering the Crusades,  14th century battles and the Wars of the Roses - his reviews intrigued me enough to buy a copy of the game.

I’m not doing a review as Norm does a far better job, I’ve refought 1st St.Albans which is a good introduction so today I thought I’d refight Blore Heath.

The game mechanics are all pretty straight forward but I like the attritional nature of the combat and the command and control mechanic.

There are no turns a side commences with a free action by which they can activate a commander and the troops under their command, after the free activation you can then elect to activate another commander having to throw less than their ability, each activation increases the difficulty by subtracting one off the score required on a d10. 

If you fail then activation passes to the other side and the same process is followed.

This can be stopped by a player playing a seize the initiative chit ( each side draws so many at the start of the battle) most of the chits have a score required to seize the initiative from the enemy, if they pass they activate a battle etc if they fail it goes back to the opponent with a free activation. 

In this battle the Yorkist had 4 chits  to the Lancastrian 2 there are a few other chits that allow you to negate the seizure attempt or improve your combat result or disorder the enemy.

I chose this scenario in that the Battle is different to most War of  the Roses battles, the Yorkists - outnumbered placed a wagon laager on their right flank, dug a ditch to their rear and deployed caltrops to their front.

The Lancastrians deployed a significant number of mounted men at arms with plenty of infantry and dismounted men at arms to support.

I didn’t take a pic of the initial deployment but Audley ( Lancastrian) had deployed his mounted troops to the front with dismounted men at arms behind them and infantry behind them - the Longbow were deployed to the right behind a hedge but out of range of the enemy.

As mounted troops are heavily penalised if they move onto the wagons or the ditch I decided Audley would lead them towards the centre of the Yorkist line ( in the scenario cavalry shake a die to see if they become disordered crossing the brook) likewise I deployed the caltrops between the stream and Yorkist front line ( some are dummy counters and to make it interesting I placed the counters randomly) again when crossing cavalry shake to see if they become disordered.

The  many of the Lancastrian cavalry pushing over the brook became disordered and Neville had moved the longbow forward with the result that more Lancastrian horse were unhorsed or forced to retire

Dudley pushed forward with the infantry but soon realised an attack on the troops behind the wagons was fraught with danger .

You may wonder why in a game without bounds why the Lancastrians don’t just bide their time and assault when everything in position the game has a timed factor in that if the Yorkist player forgoes a free activation then the clock is moved on one the Lancastrian has 12 - its a tough nut but it means the Lancastrian can’t sit back and let the Yorkist count the clock down.

Audley with his unhorsed knights managed to punch through the enemy Longbow and start to assault the main Yorkist line - I had rashly brought forward the Lancastrian longbows my thinking being they could annoy and irritate the Yorkist infantry however Neville seized the initiative twice in a row and launched a stinging counter attack which saw two enemy longbow destroyed and two men at arms   

Dudley continued to work around the wagons in the hope of getting to the rear of the Yorkist line  but suddenly Neville killed Audley and another man at arms and with a failed army flight test the Lancastrians called it a day,
A great game and one which I enjoyed immensely, a couple of small mistakes but none game changing. The system works well solo, so thanks for bearing with me

Finally as I can’t just let things be I thought this system would work well with figures but not wanting to go buy and paint I printed off some of Peter Dennis’s paper boys. Printed at 15mm and two strips fit nicely on a 60 x40 base with enough room to put unit info on the back! I may do a couple of bases and see how they look all done.


Monday 24 August 2020

Cuirassiers take to the field

 Managed to finish and base up two sets of Prussian Cuirassiers. These were already painted and just needed touching up. It brings the Prussians to about 50% of the force indeed for the initial scenario.

I have 36 Prussian infantry I’ve almost finished painting on the desk.

This doesn’t mean I’ve stopped painting rounds - the Jacobites that had been languishing on the bench have been finished only to be replaced by another set and around 80 15mm Union infantry are shouting for their uniforms.

Saturday 15 August 2020

Lots of New Greens

 Richard Ansell just sent me photos of the next set of greens heading my way,

Civilian militia marching and skirmishing, female homesteaders fighting and some nice French regulars in turn back coats charging.

Friday 14 August 2020

A few more Prussians.

 In between preparing an article for the Wargames Annual and doing battle with companies who don’t want to refund money when they don’t supply goods I have found a little time to further the SYW Command and Colours project.

3 more bases of Prussian infantry - I’m using one base to a battalion and where I can get the extra standard bearers then my intention is to base up as shown to represent a two battalion regiment this also gives options for other rule sets.

The third base were the left overs!

One of the main reason of usin flats was to let me incorporate the little vignettes etc that they are so fond of doing. To that end I decided to make a series of smaller bases to use as garrisons for buildings, towns etc and also to represent assaulting troops attacking fortifications etc.. initially I’d hoped to use 40mmx30mm bases so four bases took up the same area as a normal base, that didn’t work so it’s 40x40.

You will see what I’m trying to achieve and the reason for my comments in the photos below. These were already painted and I’ve just tried to do a little work on them to tie them in with the rest of the figures I’ve done

Guess I need some walls to use those ladders 😁. I’ve also started work on the cards used in C&C Tricorne although I still may use the Ramekin ideas from Prometheus in Aspic’s  blog which replaces the tactical cards with chits. Lots to ponder.

Friday 7 August 2020

Few figures for sale

 As my own range of figures for the French Indian War gains momentum I will gradually replace the figures I’d already painted from the excellent Galloping Major range

First up I have 32 Canadian Militia and a Huron character.

Looking for £150 that includes UK postage - will post overseas at cost

Thursday 6 August 2020

Off the bench this week - ( Reinforcements for the Mohawks and more flats!)

This is my third attempt to post, apologies in advance if my text suddenly gets underlined! I’m finding that once I post photos then all the text gets underlined and I can’t remove it!

Anyway I finished basing the Fife and Drum Mohawks that we’re painted for me by Steve Allen, they’ve come out nice and once I finish the Huron’s I will have enough pieces to have my first try out of the new edition of musket and tomahawks.

I also picked up some bits and pieces from Berliner Zinnfiguren - they operate a flea market on their site and I bought some Generals and Hussars for a very fair price. I also bought some grenadiers for effectively the cost of unpainted figures. The grenadiers need a little touching up but overall very useful additions. I tried an idea re putting a name plate on the bases - I did this with the Hussars but I’m not keen so may resort to something else! 

I’m pretty much set now on the basing as being 80x60 to use with the Command and Colours Tricorn idea I have and I’ve started making notes for the rules and cards.  Also looking at bases to represent garrisons etc as I want to be able to maximise the dynamics of the ‘ flat’ figure.

This is worth a little watch it’s a link to a German news item on the new owner of the Kieler flat figure range ( some 11000 items in the range) You don’t need to understand German to be suitably impressed by his house and displays. I have some pieces on order from him

Finally the local club has reopened, now I haven’t been yet. Our club is run in the lounge of the pub and quite rightly the owner has put quite tight restrictions in place, so you can’t wander between tables, table service for food and drinks and no more than 4 to a table, part of my enjoyment for attending is the ability to go and chat and see what others are doing so without being able to do this then I’ve decided not to attend, apart from that I still think it’s all a bit too early as recent activity in Aberdeen has shown.
Finally I got notification that Salute is scheduled for the 10th April next year, will it happen? 
Bearing in mind the Nightingale isn’t due to be decommissioned until the end of March then this winter is certainly going to be an interesting one if this damned pandemic spikes again, even more importantly will Vapnartak happen at York in February? I’m thinking under the current climate no or if it does it certainly won’t be in the format we know.
Moan over - back to the paint table